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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Charles B. Briggs

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 461 - 462

Charles B. Briggs, one of the leading and representative citizens of Lyndon Township, who follows farming on section 18, is so well known throughout Sheboygan County, that he needs no special introduction to our readers, yet this history would be incomplete without the record of his life. He was born in Broome County, N. Y., June 18, 1835. His father, S. R. Briggs, was born in Plymouth County, Mass., November 16, 1806, acquired a liberal academic education, and in early life followed school teaching. Subsequently he became an agriculturist. His father served as a soldier in the War of 1812, and the ancestry of the family can be traced back to England. In 1816, he emigrated to New York, and there married Elmina M. Burghart, who was born in the Empire State, March 6, 1814. They became parents of two children, the sister of our subject being Mary E., wife of Irvine Atwater, a farmer of Franklin, Tenn. The mother died March 29, 1845, and the father afterwards again married, having by the second union four children: DeWitt, Jay, Antoinette and Emma. In politics, Mr. Briggs was a radical Abolitionist, and in religious belief was a Baptist. His death occurred in New York, January 10, 1887.

Charles B. Briggs, whose name heads this sketch, began his education in the common schools, and afterwards received the advanced instruction of an academy. At the age of nineteen, he began teaching, which he followed two terms in the State of his nativity, and after coming to Wisconsin he devoted his energies to that work for seventeen years. As a companion on life's journey, he chose Miss Emeline Austin, a native of Medina County, Ohio, born July 4, 1838. She is the youngest of nine children, whose parents, Freeman and Elizabeth (Johnson) Austin, are mention in the sketch of George Austin, on another page of this work. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Briggs was celebrated October 30, 1858, and has been blessed with three children. Mina, who was educated in the Plymouth High School and in the Winfield Business College, of Winfield, Kan., has successfully engaged in teaching for eight years. Cora, who was educated in the Plymouth High School, is the wife of Fred Joerms, the leading member of the American Folding Bed Company, which is engaged in the manufacture of folding beds and cribs in Sheboygan, Wis. They have a daughter, Emeline Ruth. Ray A., who is now a student in the Waldo High School, completes the family.

The year 1856 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Briggs in Wisconsin. He has spent somewhat of his life in travel, having visited seventeen States of the Union. In 1858, he purchased forty acres of unbroken land in Mitchell Township, upon which he made his home for seven years, and then came to Lyndon Township, where he bought a partially improved farm of eighty acres. This he afterwards sold and became owner of another eighty acres, to which he has added from time to time until his farm now comprises two hundred and twenty acres of valuable land, which is under a high state of cultivation and well improved. He is the pioneer cheese-maker of Lyndon Township, and the vat he first used is still doing service on the farm of E. P. Andrus, near Winooski. He has been engaged in the manufacture of cheese and butter for twenty-four years, and these products are of such excellent quality that they find a very ready sale on the market. He uses grade Durham cows for dairy purposes.

Mr. Briggs began life empty-handed, but his business career has proved one of signal success, and by his industry, perseverance and well-directed efforts, he has accumulated a handsome competency. He has supported each Presidential candidate of the Republican party since casting his first vote for Abraham Lincoln, and its principles find in him a stalwart advocate. Mr. and Mrs. Briggs are numbered among the leading citizens of this community, are held in high esteem, and have a host of warm friends throughout the county.

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